Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Obama Administration unveils plan to reduce to rural poverty; poverty report to be issued today

Today the Obama Administration unveiled a plan to tackle rural poverty that will focus on 10 communities, particularly in the Deep South and on Indiana reservations. The communities have yet to be selected.

The plan is designed to provide "more health care, child care and food to families in remote rural communities" and "will focus on programs that help a family as a whole unit, as opposed to separate programs for parents and children," Marisol Bello reports for USA Today. Programs will include job training and "look at providing mobile services, such as trucks that offer groceries." USDA also will focus on "providing more food to children during school, after school and during the summer months," Vilsack said.

Other strategies will include preventing a tax increase for 16 million working families with children, helping states expand Medicaid, increasing minimum wage, making two years of community college free, improving access to health services and encouraging federal agencies to work together and with external partners in efficient ways, according to a White House press release.

The federal poverty measure said that 45.8 million people were poor in 2013, Bello writes. In rural areas, the poverty rate is 16 percent, says a report the administration will release today. The report says that "while rural poverty has dropped drastically since the late 1960s, it has been consistently higher than urban poverty over the last 40 years." (Read more)

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